Larry, what you read is a fact but for "VC++ .NET" and not for C++ as a language in general.
With .NET its basically upto you as to which language you choose to write your program as
they all are compiled to run on .NET Framework only.
Its a decision that you make on the premise of you level of comfort with a particular language,
like for an instance people who are comfortable with VB
, choose VB
.NET. People who have
worked in JAVA a lot choose either J# or C# as both look familiar to them. Others who have worked
on C++ a lot would either choose C++ or C# as again both are similar languages.
But if you choose to go with C++ in any of the Visual Studio versions after VS 6 you have an
option of programming for native windows environment in which case you dont need to have
.NET framework installed on the target machines. So C++ is still alive in MS domain as
it lets you do native windows programming.
Also every language offers a few advantages over the other. Like C# and C++ support operator
.NET doesnt (VB
2005, the latest version of VB
does.). C++ had the concept of
templates; in C# and VB
a similar concept called Generics has only recently been introduced etc.
To answer your last query though, ya I would way you CAN stay with C++. You can do all sorts
of programming, web/database application development and stuff using VC++ .NET. But every
Movement, as you would agree, speaks a language. When talk about the .NET Movement, C# is
the de-facto .NET language. C# relects well on the development of .NET and Microsoft's vision
behind it. VB
, however is the most happening language in .NET domain, easiest to learn and fun
to write programms with.